WILTON — On the brink of having to consider closing its doors, an urgent fundraising appeal has brought in more than $141,000 to Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy.

The school appealed last week to families of students, alumni and the community to close the gap on a fundraising goal shortfall affecting its 2020-2021 budget. The gap resulted from the school having to cancel its annual gala and close its Something Special thrift store due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an update to the school community on the evening of June 19, school officials informed students and their families that they exceeded their fundraising goal of $141,000.

“We are grateful to the entire community,” said Kevin Vallerie, who serves as president of the school’s board, and is the parent of an academy student. “People really came together from near and far to support our effort. We are very pleased to inform the Diocese of Bridgeport of this result.”

School principal Stanley Steele said, “The pandemic has presented many challenges for all of us — economic and otherwise — pending approval by the school board, a portion of the funds above our operational goal will be directed to overcoming these challenges.” These include continuing the drive for enrollment, providing counseling for OLFCA students who may be struggling with issues related to the pandemic, and ensuring compliance with COVID-related distancing and safety requirements.”

Officials also informed the school community about plans for the return-to-school in the fall, with a COVID-compliant, full-time, five-day, in-person school week.

“Our small class sizes are what makes that plan possible. Currently, the school has room for 31 new students to enroll while still being COVID-compliant for our Pre K-3 to eighth grade Personalized Approach to Learning program,” Steele said.

Registration for 2020-2021 is ongoing. Virtual tours of the school, which is on Danbury Road, and other information are available on the school’s website, olfacademy.org. For more information, contact Principal Stanley Steele at ssteele@olfcatholic.org.